What is an apostille? That was my question too when my agent sent me over the power of attorney and told me that a notary needed to notarize and apostille it. Admittedly, I’d never heard of an apostille. But, looking at the sample document, it appeared to be a document certifying that the notary was indeed a notary.
The notarization process was a little annoying in general as the document is in Italian and because the notary at Chase Bank didn’t know Italian, she wouldn’t notarize, even though I’d already gotten translated for her. I finally found a notary at UPS to notarize the document. I then showed her a copy of what I needed that certified that she was a notary and she promptly made me a copy of her certification. I printed out the shipping label for 3 day shipping (the fastest possible to Italy) and sent it off.
The following week I receive an email that says that they can not take it because it isn’t apostilled. Me, confused, knowing I sent over what was needed went back and forth for a minute, got frustrated, even shed some tears because I didnt’ have a clue what they were talking about. Finally it hit me. Maybe a notary and an apostille is something different.
So, I go to google and type in “What is the difference between a notary and an apostille.” Would you believe there was an answer and they’re indeed not the same thing? Insert rolled eyes at myself.
Apparently in the United States we do indeed only use notary’s but when transacting business with other countries, you need an apostille. But what exactly is an apostille again?
Apostilles authenticate the seals and signatures of officials on public documents such as birth certificates, court orders, or any other document issued by a federal agency or certified by an American or foreign consul. An apostille certifies the document(s), so the document can be recognized in foreign countries that are members of the 1961 Hague Convention Treaty. We only issue apostilles for documents to use in countries that are members of the 1961 Hague Convention.
You would need this when purchasing over seas with language barriers or when buying virtually by way of power of attorney.
Well Stephanie, if you had googled this first, you would have saved, time, energy, tears and the $28 it took to mail an envelope to Italy.
I then proceed to google where to find an apostille. Apparently, they’re only certain state officials who can apostille and they’re typically located at government buildings.
I found the one for Georgia and called. Because of Covid 19, you can no longer bring your documents in to be apostilled. You must:
- Get the document notarized
- Send the document via USPS along with a form stating what you need the apostille for and the country that it is for.
- Send a self addressed stamp envelope
- Send $10 USD
They would receive your request, apostille it within a week then send back to you via US Postal Service. The process could take 10-14 days.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t trust the post office these days. Somehow they deliver bills on time but packages and mail from friends and family? Its Russian roulette around here. Who knows when and if you will receive it. So that in itself made me quite nervous.
I began to google if there was a faster apostille process (are you noticing that I am remembering that google is my friend?) and I find a company that can get you the apostille within 2 days. You can hand deliver it and pick it up. This sounds perfect for me!!! Knowing that it would be costly in comparision but not caring one bit because I felt more in control of the situation, I called, received pricing and scheduled an appointment. The following day I dropped it off, and 24 hours later I received a call letting me know that the document is ready.
Let me also say that I had to get the document reprinted and notarized again. The apostille service I used has a notary on staff who handled that. This service, the apostille plus the notary was $185 USD. Huge difference between the $4 notary from UPS and the $10 apostille. But, you know what it saved me that I HIGHLY value? Time. If you read the reviews on their site, you will see mixed reviews with most of the negative ones being about price. One thing that I am always clear on is that speed and convenience costs. And if you need something handled quickly you don’t have the space to concern yourself with the price. Pay it, get what you need and move on. Thats my mentality. If you are not in a hurry, I maybe wouldn’t suggest this type of service.
But for me, having a flight out in just a couple of weeks to get my keys and sign final documents and knowing this could take 14 days to get apostilled and back to me before me then having to mail out to Italy, too much was up in the air.
I am happy to say that the paperwork is in Italy, I am scheduled for closing and all is well.
I wanted to share this with you because an apostille is not common knowledge for most American’s and not knowing was a waste of time, money, energy and tears.
I made a little video walking you through this entire process with additional commentary as well.
Notary and Apostille:
Atlanta Apostille. David is the owner I believe. He wasn’t there when I went but the guy that I did work with was kind. David over the phone and when I picked up seemed a little rushed, didn’t want to be bothered and almost like “hurry tf up I don’t care what you have to say kind of vibe”. I did not care for that but everyone isn’t a people person and the guy who was there when I dropped off paperwork was the complete opposite which made up for it. I wish more business owners realized their strengths and weaknesses and put people with better customer service skills front and center. This was another complaint from many but here is my truth. As long as he was not rude, I wasn’t to bothered. All he was interested in was the money and all I was interested in is getting my documents taken care of. We had an understanding so the rest is really small to me. Here is there website. They got the job done and got it done quickly so yes, I recommend them. https://atlantaapostille.com/
If you are willing to go the slower route, here is your option https://www.gsccca.org/notary-and-apostilles/apostilles/general-apostille-information